Georgetown’s nineteenth-century buildings in the downtown area have been preserved as a result of community efforts spanning many years. Strategies for preserving Georgetown’s historic and cultural structures in the historic downtown are incorporated into the City’s planning process. Three historic overlay districts are associated with special guidelines for modification of existing structures and for new construction.


Town Square Historic District
This is the nine-block area around the Williamson County Courthouse that includes buildings on the historic Square (Refer to the Downtown Overlay Map).
Downtown Overlay District
This is a 40 – 50 block area that surrounds the Square and contains many historic commercial and residential structures. The Downtown Overlay District is roughly bordered by the South San Gabriel River to the north, University Avenue to the South, Martin Luther king Street to the west and Myrtle Street to the east. (Refer to the Downtown Overlay Map).
Old Town Overlay District
This is a larger area encompassing much of Old Town. The Old Town District includes residential and commercial areas (Refer to the Old Town Overlay Map). Due to the historic value of these areas, the City has taken extra steps to ensure that their identity continues to prosper for generations to come.

The Preservation of structures within the Overlay Districts are regulated through the submission of construction plans to the City’s Historic and Architectural Review Commission for a Certificate of Appropriateness:

Certificate of Appropriateness(CoA)
Plans for new construction or renovation of existing structures in the Downtown Historic Overlay must be submitted to the Planning department. This includes changes to the building’s exterior, the building site, or signs. Approval of plans results in the issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness. For Commercial or planned Commercial in the Old Town Overlay District, a Certificate of Appropriateness is also required.

Detailed information on submission requirements for a Certificate of Appropriateness application can be found in Section 3.13 of the Unified Development Code (UDC).

Historic and Architectural Review Commission (HARC)
This Commission reviews plans for changes to buildings, sites, and signage within the Historic Overlay Districts prior to those changes being made. The Commission issues a Certificate of Appropriateness to approved modifications that are consistent with the Downtown Design Guidelines.  Here is a process flowchart that shows the application and approval process that is used to issue the CoA.
Downtown Design Guidelines
Special guidelines for changes to buildings, sites, and signage within the Downtown and Old Town Historic Overlays. These are the rules that the Historic and Architectural Review Commission uses to approve or not approve modifications.

Other groups involved in historic preservation in Georgetown include the Georgetown Main Street Program and the Georgetown Heritage Society. More information on these items can be found by clicking on the appropriate link to the left.

If you are a prospective applicant within one of our Overlay Districts or have any questions, please contact the Historic District Planner.